Turnaround force tasked with rescuing JAL as it slashes jobs and subsidiaries

JAPAN AIRLINES (JAL), the ailing carrier which is getting a massive handout from the Japanese government, will be run by a state-owned body in charge of turning it around, it emerged over the weekend.<br /><br />The airline is striving desperately to avoid bankruptcy, seeking aid from banks and the government. Liabilities at the carrier would exceed its assets by as much as $8.8bn (&pound;5.2bn) if it went into liquidation.<br /><br />The news came as JAL, which is whittling down its debt under the government&rsquo;s guidance, said it was cutting 44 per cent of its staff, bringing its total number of employees down to 13,000. <br /><br />It is also slashing the subsidiaries it has by more than half in a massive restructuring. <br /><br />A task force that reports to Japanese transport minister Seiji Maehara has been seeking a bridging loan of about 180bn yen (&pound;1.2bn) for JAL and a total capital boost of 300bn yen from both the government and the private sector.